What is an Electronic Paper?

Posted on November 7, 2011 by
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Electronic paper or radio paper is a handy, reusable storage with exhibit medium, which seems like paper, but can be frequently refreshed thousands of times by electronic ways. E–paper is mostly used with e-books, e-newspapers, portable signs, rolling and folding displays.

It displays information downloaded through Computer or cell phone, or crafted with an Electronic Pencil. E-paper uses e-Ink to display the text and pictures. E-paper is considered comfy to read because it does not need to be revitalized continuously, allowing its wider viewing angle to reflect better image than conventional displays. An ideal e-paper display can even be read in Sunlight without a murky or fading image.

There are various kinds of electronic paper. Recent technology has introduced a paper fabricated of fine coating of conductive synthetic substance, holding millions of oil packed capsules with black and white floating pigments on it.

History of E-paper
In 1974, employee of Xerox PARC-Nicholas K. Sheridon, has developed Gyricon, a novel display technology for Alto personal computers, which became a source to modern e-paper technology.  In 90s, Joseph Jacobson introduced principle of electrically loaded balls, turning under the effect of tension; as a result shows either white or black side. Joseph created microcapsules, having white parts (electronically loaded) dissipated in murky color oil.

Later in 1997, Joseph founded E-Ink Company to produce e-paper commercially.  Sony introduced first commercially accessible Electronic paper reader device in April 2004, followed by Netherlands launch of iLiad from iRex-sequel of a renowned company, Philips.

Features of E-Paper

Important feature of e-Paper is constancy of capsule; it does not change until there is no change in tension. It means the text or image will stay on e-paper even when book reader is switched. On single battery load, thousands of pages are allowed to be loaded by limited ebook readers.

Another key feature is that it does not require background light for display of text or picture, like a conventional paper; it requires external lighting source for reading. E-paper is perfectly readable in sunlight because like normal paper, it is based on daylight reflection, resulting in easiness to read from an e-book reader than monitor.

With the advent of technology, e-paper has also showed several modifications; Xerox and 3M has created Gyricon, an e-paper, estimated to make commercially available in near future. And Lucent, in alliance with E-Ink, has been working to introduce an E-ink reader. Both these technologies facilitate black and white displays and do not call for constant power supply; initial charge creates a display, which remains there until power is applied to it.

Some Challenges
Several companies are working to develop electronic paper and electronic reader, holding distinct technologies, but their products are exhibiting same features, facing same e-paper technological challenges, involving encapsulation method, right material of ink for filling encapsulation and technology for activating ink.

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